tv [untitled] February 3, 2012 11:48am-12:18pm PST
done. this is new. this is different. we are talking about the super bowl of life. we are in the playoffs already. we need offense, defense, protesters, advocates, a business community, religious leaders. you know, we cannot just pray about it. we have to put some of our money where our mouth is. we need san francisco to pull together to deal with the super bowl of life issue, which is housing. why were people protesting last year? there is no housing. we have to do something. the state let us behind. the feds did, too, but san francisco was going to find a way. i want to give a big hand to the coach, the quarterback. we are calling the play now, right? san francisco, we want to score for affordable and moderate rate housing. thank you. this is a beautiful illustration of that.
the one and only rev. dr. mcrae. a brother, an advocate. he can do better than i could. >> the mayor used the word promise. for many in the religious community, we live with the promise. the promise is that the cities will be repaired and that the former devastation will be reversed. the mayor said we come together because of a promise. i stand with brother roger's. his mother five years and years in this community for the promise -- this project took many years, many iterations, did it not? it took the whole community working together because we believed in the promise that san francisco will be repaired.
san francisco will go into the future, and san francisco will remain a model city for all of these united states. mayor lee, thank you. because you gave us a promise last sunday afternoon that this was going to be an item. before i could almost get home, the item is coming to fruition. because we are taking the first step. thank you. as i say all of the time, maybe lord bless you and keep you. maybe lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. maybe lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, reverend. i know we are on the verge of a very memorable and promise- filled weekend. martin luther king weekend as well where we renew those
promises all the time, but in san francisco, it is also about delivering on those promises. i know we have been delivering on a lot of stuff, not only for investors, but also things that have been working with everybody to produce housing. oz, come on up. >> thanks. sunday, the mayor talked about the really important things in san francisco. he said jobs, jobs, jobs. it is great to read in the paper about salesforce leasing 300,000 square feet. it is great to hear them leasing 300 million square feet. 400,000 square feet translates into 1000 units of needed campus -- needed housing. 2 million square feet is 5000 units of housing. we have an incredibly difficult problem supplying housing.
we need 20,000 units of housing over the next 10 years. at a minimum. more like 30,000 with the growth in jobs if the mayor has his way. this is a very urgent, needed process. i am very optimistic that we will all be able to work together and come up with a program that will deliver housing and affordable housing for san francisco. [applause] mayor lee: let me be it -- let me reiterate by closing that there is no prescribed solution going into this process. we have to be open to everybody's input. i make that commitment that we are going to open ourselves up. there's nothing to say that any idea coming forward cannot be a good one but also be integrated with everybody else's idea. i want to signal that to everyone that is going to participate and watch as this effort continues, but at the end
of the day, we have to act, and we have to get an agreement, and we have to produce housing that is affordable to all in comes in san francisco. we must do that, and we must honor an opportunity that i think the voters are giving all of us, that we have to come up with solutions and come up with them quickly in a timely fashion. with that, i charge everybody here today -- put your best effort forward. be honest. be delivered of. the collaborative -- be deliberative. be collaborative. let's get it done. thank you very much. [applause]
♪ >> hello and "welcome to meet your district supervisor. we're here with david chiu from district 3. that includes chinatown, fisherman's wharf, and part of the russian hill neighborhood. he was elected to the board in november of 2008 and has served as board president since january of 2009. we will get to know him and talk about the toughest issues facing them. thank you for joining us today.
tell us about your background. >> my parents immigrated to the united states in the 1960's. i was the first kid born in the u.s. my parents sacrificed everything so that their kids could have the opportunities that they wanted when they came here. i grew up in the boston area and lived in different parts of boston. i went to catholic price school in dorchester, a section of boston. -- i went to catholic high school in dorchester, a section of boston. because of my parents, my brothers and i were all blessed to go to harvard university. that is where i went to school. it was intense. i stayed there for law school and have a master's in public policy from there. those are subjects i decided to
study because i was interested in public service and public policy issues and government. >> you grew up in the boston area. what made you want to make the transition and moved to san francisco? what motivated you to get involved in politics question marks before i ran for office, and worked in san francisco as a criminal prosecutor and civil rights attorney. i got to understand how much of a be in san francisco is to the rest of the world for social justice. i spent a number of years helping to grow a small business. i got to understand the innovative spirit in san francisco. at night, i volunteered as a neighborhood leader and as feature of an affordable housing organization. i learned so much about the challenges facing our neighborhoods and the special
jewels that are the urban villages we live in. i ran for office because i wanted to serve the city and protect all that is so special about san francisco. >> what lessons did you learn after campaigning for supervisor? >> san franciscans are incredibly interested in their city government, local politics, and making sure that we remain the most amazing city in the world. i learned that san franciscans during campaign read everything they are sent in the mail. they love to meet the candidates and engage in conversations with them. i learned how important it is to build bridges between different communities, particularly communities of diversity that we have. i was incredibly honored to have been elected in november of 2008. >> where do you place yourself on the political spectrum? >> i consider myself someone who
shares the progressive values that many sentences can hold dear. we have been a beacon to the rest of the world region that many sentences skins hold dear. we have been a beacon to the rest of the world for those. >> you are president of the board. describe the role of the opposition and the responsibilities that come with being the president of the board of supervisors. >> as president, i preside over the weekly meetings we have tuesday at 2:00 here in the chamber. i also determine which legislations will go to various committees that we have. as a district supervisor, i sit on a number of legislative committees. >> what are some of the biggest issues facing san francisco? >> we have a lot of challenges right now. we're still in the midst of the great recession. we know too many folks who are struggling in minimum-wage jobs. we know folks who have been laid
off of work. as a city, we need to do much better at creating an environment where we have more jobs and economic development. we are also extremely challenge in our public transit. we talk about being a transit first city, but everyone has had the experience of sitting in gridlock, waiting for the bus, trying to hail that tab, walking on pedestrian sidewalks that are not particularly safe. as a city, we need to do more to invest in the first-class transportation system. >> what are some of the biggest issues facing your district? >> in addition to the local economy that impacts the merchant corridors, to many vacant storefronts, transit issues, in every neighborhood we're having a real conversation
about how we change, whether we should preserve aspects of the important characters of our neighborhood or think about building new things. there is also a real discussion we're having in many neighborhoods about affordability. i hear from too many tenants in the process of being evicted, homeowners being foreclosed on. we need to think about how all of us can continue to live in a city where the whole world wants to be. >> it is a great place to be. >> it is a great place to be. how do you balance the needs of your district versus the needs of the city as a whole? >> i have an incredibly diverse district. it encompasses north beach and chinatown. we have the city's famous hills. we have for the world comes to work, the financial district's, where the world comes to shop in
union square, where the tourists spend time on fisherman's wharf , and the wonderful polk street neighborhoods. my district encompasses the ethnic and economic diversity that exists throughout the city. i think my district is emblematic of the entire city. you can find every political perspective you can possibly want in district 3. oftentimes, the interests of my district and the city are aligned. i do not have to think about those differences quite as often as some of my colleagues may have to. >> let's talk about the budget situation. we have been faced with some tough budget decisions again, including where to make cuts and whether or not to increase taxes. how will you approached these hard choices? >> our budget is one of the very top challenges facing city
government right now. over each of the years i have served, we have had to balance budget deficits that were around $500 million. this year, we're facing another budget deficit of almost $400 million. fortunately in recent years, we have had some ability to do some one-time budgeting tricks that allow us to balance the budget that do not exist this year. in past years, we've received federal stimulus money. we received more monies from the state government. last year our labor unions decided to contribute a quarter of a billion dollars to help balance last year's and this year's budget. those are things we do not have the ability to avail ourselves of us we balance the upcoming budget in a few months.
we are faced with far fewer options. i think we are going to have to continue to look at very deep and difficult cuts. our priorities have to be insuring and protecting the most basic city services and helping to ensure that we have services to the most vulnerable during this great recession. >> what about the city's housing needs? what should the board due to address those needs? >> we are a city that is seventh by 7 miles. we have incredible density. we're the densest neighborhoods on the west coast. everyone wants to live here. that drives up housing prices dramatically. the housing costs are driving out working folks, families, the middle class. we need to continue to reinvest,
to build, to develop, and maintain a troop stock of affordable housing. i am committed to increase in more funds so that we can build more housing that can be afforded by folks of all economic backgrounds. >> what about the issue of homelessness? >> in recent years during the terrible economy, we have had to cut back significantly. our social-service net, programs for folks who may have mental illnesses, we have seen many problems become exacerbated on the streets. when you combine that with the fact that we have an affordable housing in most parts of the city, it is no surprise our homeless numbers have gone up in recent years. the city needs to recommit ourselves to the values that our city was named after. st. francis believed in
compassion for those who have less -- had less than others. those of us with opportunities have to give back. part of that entails taking care of the most important among us, the folks who have need, including our homeless. >> let's talk about the transportation situation in your district. you mentioned that transit could be better. how is parking and traffic? is there enough muni service now? >> you are talking to the one member of the board that does not only car. i get around my district by muni, bicycle, or hailing a cab. our transit system is truly challenge. our bosses are late one out of four times. -- our buses are late one out of a quarter times. they're still not as clean and
safe as we'd like. we can do better and investing in our muni system. we need more taxicabs on the streets. is difficult to obtain a cab. i support the concept of centralized taxi dispatch systems so you know who you can call to get a cab. i am a big believer in pedestrian bicycling as options to get around town. many cities in the world have far more people working or on bicycles into blocking or on bicycles. they are pleasant most of transit and are efficient. -- many cities in the world have far more people walking or on bicycles. they are pleasant and efficient forms of transportation. that will take cars off the road and make it easier for those who drive. if we want to create a world-
class transportation system, we have to make a commitment to each of these modes of transit to allow us to move where we need to go. >> is it safe for pedestrians on the streets? >> it is not. in recent years, we have had too many pedestrian accidents. there are estimates it costs our cities several hundred millions a year because of traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. i am asking one of our transit agencies to study where we're spending our dollars around the district and whether we invested more money would help to reduce our overall costs that come when a pedestrian is hit by a car. >> let's talk about crime in your district. how is the police department doing? do you have any thoughts on how the city is dealing with crime?
>> crime rates have been down, particularly violent crime rates and homicides. that is a good thing. in the first few weeks of 2011, homicides have started to climb back up. we have to be ever vigilant about crimes occurring in all of our neighborhoods. i have been generally satisfied with much of the activity of the san francisco police department. in my district on nob hill, we have always had too many automobile break-ins. on polk street, there are many incidences of drug dealing and prostitution. in some of the entertainment quarters, we of shootings that happened. these are perennial issues that the police department needs to continually tackle. i am a big fan of the concept of community policing.
that is the idea that our local police officers need to establish a better relationship with members of the community, residents, and merchants. through that community partnership, we have seen true successes in being able to combat crime. you have eyes and ears on the street cooperating with the men and women in blue. that helps to reduce crime. i have been pushing our police department to implement that. >> your district is a well-known nightlife destination. how do you balance the needs of the residents with the needs of the restaurants and bars? >> i moved into my neighborhood in part because we have such a wonderful vibrant nightlife. san francisco is famous for our restaurant scene, are seen, club scene. -- are sbar scene.
we have had too much violence around these nighttime venues. i have passed several pieces of legislation to address the security and safety needs of neighborhoods. we all support a healthy, vibrant nightlife. but we also support a safe nightlife that complements our neighborhoods and is not in competition with our neighborhoods. >> what are your thoughts on the city's economic development? what would you like to change about the approach to developing the economy? >> as a city, i do not think we have been good at creating jobs and economic development. there are things we can do to make life easier for businesses. businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. over the past few years, i have helped to eliminate dozens of fees that have been nickeling
our small businesses to death. i have been pushing for more stimulus from city contracts. in the past, those would be awarded mostly to non-san francisco businesses. san francisco needs to do a better job of cultivating business innovation. we need to be the city that competes with silicon valley to attract clean tech, biotech companies. we can do a better job of nurturing creative industries. we need to create a better economy for our local artists. this is a city that has many thousands of small businesses. as someone who used to run a small business, the city can do
a much better job of nurturing that sector. that is part of the life blood of who we are as san franciscans. >> we could do better. are we on the right track? >> i think we are in a transition right now. we have an interim mayor and a new board of supervisors. i do think we have a new tone at city hall to move things forward. we have a lot of challenges we are facing. i am doing everything i can to put us back on track. >> let's talk about the role of sports in the city's economic future. are you happy with the plans for the america's cup? >> i have been a huge fan of the america's cup. i am proud of this board came together unanimously after a fairly contentious debate to support bringing the america's cup to san francisco in 2013. it is estimated it will not only be an incredible sporting event,
not only showcase our city and the natural amphitheater of the bay, but it is estimated to bring in over $1 billion in economic activity with 8000 to 9000 jobs. it will be a lot of fun. i am very excited. >> should we spend money to keep the 49ers? >> i just had a conversation with the head of the organization. i told him that i and many others would love to do what we can to keep our beloved 49ers here in san francisco. they are having a conversation with santa clara. we think they need to be part of a city that is in their name. there is so much history intertwined between our 49 years and san francisco. i am very committed to doing what i can to keep them here. >> governor brown has proposed
to eliminate funding for redevelopment agencies. what is your opinion of the plan? >> we knew that by electing a governor brown he would have to make incredibly difficult choices. i do think this through development proposal goes a bit too far -- redevelopment proposal goes too far. it would be catastrophic to many developments and proposed developments. i hope the ongoing conversations to change his proposal will modify it into something that will continue to help localities and counties like san francisco. i think we can get there. >> water some of the biggest land use issues in your district? >> in addition to the america's cup planning, there is a discussion around the
development of cpmc. it would be the largest hospital project our city has seen in decades. it would probably be the largest land use project discussed this year. it is right on the edge of my district. it is seated at the intersection of several separate as oriole -- supervisorial districts. there are issues around displacement, the impact of a large hospital on the surrounding neighborhoods, and whether the size of this hospital and plans in the city wide picture of health care access. i am sure we will have robust discussion about this in the coming months. >> are there any other issues that concern you that we have not discussed? areer